When it was announced that it would take Motivate, the largest self-service bicycle operator in North America, the Ride-Grill company announced that it would also be buying back the bike contracts in self-service of Motivate. This was an important element of the acquisition of Motivate: the company has exclusive contracts in areas such as Bay Area, where Motivate operates as GoBike in New York, where it operates under the names Citi Bike, and Chicago, where she operates Divvy Bike.
But the city of San Francisco seemed challenge this exclusivity at the end of last monthwhen it announced that it would pave the way for a process for a larger program of self-service bikes without a dock, a process that would be open to companies other than Lyft and Motivate. The city argues that, although Lyft has an exclusive license to operate self-serve bicycles parked and stationed in San Francisco, it does not have an exclusive operating license. all bike-share.
If the process of sharing bikes without a platform progresses, other competitors, such as The Uber jump service or cruise service recently announced by Bird, could be allowed to operate in the city. (San Francisco has been very demanding about the types of shared scooter and bike companies it has licensed to operate in the city, limit the number two-seater scooter companies.)
The issue is even more delicate as the Lyft and Motivate contract is technically with a regional authority called the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which coordinates Lyft's GoBike program in five cities in the San Francisco Bay Area. In a letter of May 20, the MTC indicated that the definition of the word "bicycle" contained in the contract "does not mention any distinction between stationary bicycles and bicycles without a docking station".
Lyft had asked San Francisco to embark on an arbitrated dispute settlement process. Eighteen months ago, this type of process allowed both parties to engage in a temporary pilot program to share bikes without a dock, which allowed 500 Jump electric bikes to hang in the streets of the city. San Francisco. But from Friday, these discussions seem to have failed.
In his lawsuit, Lyft announced that it had borrowed "tens of millions of dollars" and spent $ 35 million to build and implement the Bay Area self-service bike program, of which only $ 15 million was spent. in San Francisco. He says there is still "years" to recover his investment in GoBike. The company's lawyers write that San Francisco's decision to open its bike-sharing license equates to a "waiver of its contract … which allows San Francisco to unfairly take advantage of the efforts and to have it." Motivate investment in the Bay Area Bike Share program ".
Lyft / Motivate's lawyers also write that, according to the company, Jump and Uber "are putting pressure on some San Francisco officials to allow Jump to expand his presence on the electric bike in San Francisco despite the exclusivity of Motivate, "said a spokesman for Uber.
In a statement, Lyft spokesman wrote: "We need San Francisco to meet its contractual commitments under this regional program to not change the rules in the middle of the game." The spokesman said the company was "impatient" to solve the problem.
John Coté, a spokesman for the San Francisco city prosecutor's office, said the deal between Motivate and the city "does not give Lyft the right to monopolize bike sharing in San Francisco." He added that Lyft, who is also working on the development of his own bikes without a platform, could "seek to allow bicycles without a platform on an equal footing with everyone".
Local cycling advocates express concern over conflict between city and self-service bicycle companies could end on less accessible bikes in San Francisco. "This lawsuit really concerns Uber vs. Lyft, and that becomes the private operator of a public good," said Brian Wiedenmeier, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. "If the outcome of this action in any way impedes access to safe, healthy and affordable transportation, people who ride a bike in San Francisco will eventually lose part."
This is not the first time that Lyft has sued an American city. In May a federal judge dismissed his lawsuit against the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission over the new minimum wage rules for drivers. Lyft had argued that the new rules have subtly favored Uber.
In many ways, the dispute between San Francisco, MTC and Lyft is unique. But the lawsuit could have broader implications for other cities that have signed a contract with Motivate and for the entire transportation technology landscape, which has been shattered by the change of the past two years. At the beginning of 2018, Jump and Motivate were almost ten years old companies that developed their self-service bicycle activities. But now, they are part of a larger drama, which pits two highly animated public companies-Uber and Lyft– Fight in the fight of the streets and the dollars of the townsmen.
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(tagsToTranslate) San Francisco (t) bike sharing</pre></pre>